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India’s state-owned public sector companies are currently exploring the development of a low-cost, expendable, air-launched craft. The objective is to create a system that can deceive enemy-integrated air defence systems by mimicking the flight profiles and signatures of Indian Air Force fighter jets within enemy airspace. This endeavor aims to enhance the effectiveness and safety of Indian combat operations.

According to sources familiar with the matter, the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) labs will spearhead this program. The focus will be on developing a sub-sonic unmanned system capable of operating independently or in pairs. These crafts will fly preprogrammed missions designed to protect other manned jets while simultaneously confusing enemy-integrated air defence systems.

The primary purpose of such a decoy craft is to overwhelm enemy-integrated air defence systems, forcing them to engage the decoys first due to their proximity. By doing so, these decoys effectively draw out and occupy air defence systems, potentially revealing their location and making them vulnerable to countermeasures. This tactical advantage significantly enhances the survivability and effectiveness of the Indian Air Force’s manned fighter jets during combat operations.

While specific details regarding the features of the decoy craft are still under development, the program has reached an advanced stage. Further information is expected to emerge as the project progresses and matures.
It is worth noting that the utilization of decoy craft in combat scenarios is a widely adopted practice by many nations. The ability to deceive and distract enemy air defence systems provides a significant advantage in achieving mission objectives while minimizing risks to manned aircraft.

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